JFK, LaGuardia to get COVID-19 testing sites for incoming travelers

Press Connects-4 months before

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday the sites slated for John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in Queens, saying it will allow the state to more quickly determine whether incoming travelers have the virus at the center of a global pandemic.

“We’re act...ally setting up testing sites at our airports. We’ll be able to do faster testing of people coming in, including hospital staff," Cuomo said Monday at a news conference on Long Island.

Passengers wear safety gear to fend off coronavirus as they wait in line to check in for their flights, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at JFK airport in New York. New York was the hardest-hit state in the early days of the pandemic, with more than 25,000 state residents succumbing to confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of March. 

Since then, the state has lowered its infection rate to one of the lowest in the country and implemented a strict quarantine order for travelers from states with higher COVID-19 rates, requiring them to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in New York.

strict quarantine order for travelers from states with higher COVID-19 rates Those coming in on flights from the affected states are required to fill out a form with their local contact information and where they intend to quarantine. Failure to fill out the form before leaving the airport can result in a $2,000 fine.

Cuomo said the coronavirus testing sites at JFK and LaGuardia will be set up by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (which operates the airports) and New York City Health + Hospitals, which operates the city's public hospitals and clinics.

The Port Authority said it has been working with state and city officials "to find ways to expand testing at its facilities, and we hope to see these testing facilities for both travelers and airport workers come online in the coming weeks."

The agency is already undergoing a testing program with XpresCheck that launched at JFK’s Terminal 4 at the end of June that offered it to airport and airline workers.

The Port Authority opened a similar testing facility for airport workers at Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal B last week, and it plans to expand it to travelers soon as well.

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Delaware, Alaska added to quarantine list for NY, NJ and CT Jon Campbell is a New York state government reporter for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@Gannett.com or on Twitter at @JonCampbellGAN.

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